Perennial dieters have a new fixation for their weight neurosis: competing with the contestants on the Biggest Loser. According to a New York Times "Thursday Styles" section "trend" piece, The Biggest Loser is bumming viewers out because they're not losing weight as quickly as the contestants on the show itself. The fans don't seem to take into account that each person on The Biggest Loser is sequestered at weight loss boot camp for the duration of the show, divorced from the temptation of new Doritos flavors (Blazin' Buffalo & Ranch!) and undermining office cookie pushers. Even with a team of weight loss gurus at your disposal, reality-show fit clubs are not all they're cracked up to be. British TV presenter Lowri Turner had a pretty shitty time on ITV's Celebrity Fit Club. In fact, her team captain told her before the final episode, ""If you don't lose any weight this week I'm going to punch you in the face."
Lowri's experiences in non-televised "slimming clubs" weren't much better:
We were pitted against one another, albeit more subtly. Forget the idea that it's a communal effort — this is dog eat dog (even if that is all you get to eat all week). At the center of a slimming club meeting is the weigh-in. This involves queuing up for either a pat on the head by the group leader or a disapproving click of the tongue...As you inch towards the scales...you feel yourself metamorphosing from an adult with a job, a family and a life into a pathetic five-year-old begging for a "well done" from the teacher. There is usually a "slimmer of the week" prize for the most well-behaved dieter, and although stories about forcing those who have "failed" to wear piggie masks may be apocryphal, these days at least, those slimmers who have gained flab do not get to stand up and take a bow.
Turner's most impressive revelation is at the end of the article. "I did lose weight at all three slimming clubs I attended. However, I also became obsessed by my weight, incredibly boring and entirely lacking in humor. Deprivation made me grumpy and selfish." And seriously. Have you ever tried to talk to someone who is seriously dieting? All they can discuss is fucking baby carrots. There are more important things in life. Like Cool Ranch Doritos.
Big Losers, But Can Viewers Keep the Pace? [New York Times]
Friends, Dignity, Self Respect ... Weight Wasn't All I Lost At My Slimming Club [Daily Mail]
Earlier: Your Coworker With The Candy And Cookies Is Trying To Make You Fat
Related: Why do women Feel OK About Their Bodies Until Other Women Show Up? [Psychology Today]